Sprint Galaxy S5 won’t charge after port got wet – fixed

I’ve had a Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5 since around when it came out over a year ago.  I didn’t bother with the warranty plan that would replace my phone for any reason.  I’d never taken advantage of the plan when I did have it with previous phones, so figured it wasn’t worth the extra cost.

Now the Galaxy S5 is a waterproof phone.  Unfortunately, there is a little rubber tab that covers the USB charging port on the bottom of the phone that protects that port, but the tab breaks for a lot of people, myself included.  It lasted about 3-4 months but constant plugging and unplugging eventually leads to the rubber tab breaking.  Also, it is a bit annoying to keep unplugging and pluggin in the tab.  I did manage to buy a replacement tab online for a few dollars and it didn’t seem like it would be that hard to replace (a few screws but I never looked in depth) and I figured I didn’t really need to replace that USB port tab.  I’ve never had a waterproof phone before, and I’d never had a phone get water damaged.  I figured it was pretty unlikely that having the USB charging port exposed would cause any problems.  Oops.

Fast forward another year, and I may regret those decisions.  Where I work, I find that some patients get paranoid about seeing a phone camera pointed at them out of my dress shirt pocket when they see me, so I am in the habit of keeping the phone in my packet upside down.  I didn’t drop my phone in the toilet, or drop it in the bath tub, or drop it in water at all.  Instead, we had a very heavy downpour of rain and I didn’t think about it at all when I ran to my car about 50 feet away from the grocery store.  I got soaked and my phone was in my dress shirt pocket, upside down as usual.

My phone continued to work fine and I didn’t realize there was anything wrong.  I got home, and plug it in as I usually do in the evening, but the charge indicator did not go on.  Hmm….  I of course figured it was a bad cable, as I’ve had a few cables go out over the years.  I try a different cable that was currently charging another phone and that didn’t work either.  Uh-oh.  This is not looking good.  I immediately take my phone apart and remove the battery, as I’ve read that is the best thing to do when facing water damage, but often it is too late by that time.  I did see a little bit of water by the USB charging port on the inside of the case, but everything else looked dry.  The moisture indicator on the battery was white, which means that no water got there.

I looked around online for solutions and saw a few suggestions.  Most sites say that the setting it in rice for 48 hours doesn’t really work.  Which I was happy to read because I didn’t want to be without my phone for 48 hours waiting to see if this would fix it.  I guess that is stupid logic, as it would be better if I had a solution that would work rather than having to buy a new phone for some ridiculous price.

Several places say cleaning the phone immediately with ispropyl alcohol is good because that will remove the water and keep it from damaging the phone.  I almost tried that.  But then I saw this video:

 

I have a large wet/dry vac that I’ve used to dry my flooded basement in the past and so I just hooked it up and suctioned the usb charging port, sealing my fingers around the openings to maximize the suction.  I did it for about 15 seconds or so.  When I went to plug my phone in, it actually showed it was now charging!  I then turned off my phone completely and plugged in in.  This time, my phone gave me the battery symbol but instead of it showing that it is charging, it showed the battery with a yellow triangle and exclamation point icon.  Hmm – not good.  Looking that up means the phone can not read the battery.  I went ahead and vacuumed suctioned the phone for about 45 more seconds.  The phone continued to power up fine, and when I plugged it in, the charging indicator went on as it should.  This time, I didn’t shut off the phone to see what happens with the phone off, but instead I am leaving it plugged in to get the battery recharged, in case it won’t charge with the phone totally off.

I’ll have to post an update later once I’ve seen what happened.  I probably should leave the phone unplugged and apart overnight to let it dry more, but I’m not that patient.  And that is probably stupid on my part.  Once I have the battery reasonably charged, I will turn things off and take the phone apart.  Hopefully a good vacuuming out the water has solved the problem.  Based on the comments from the above video, it does seem like this solution works for many people.  It also seems to have at least as high of a success rate of any other methods I’ve read online.

42 Responses

  1. Ima Cynic says:

    As a follow-up, the phone is working totally fine other than the charging sometimes is a little flakey. It is pretty rare, and only with certain charging cables. Every once in a while my phone doesn’t make a good connection with the charging cable and I have to move the cable slightly to get a good connection. So far, I haven’t had to do more than adjust the cable to get the phone to charge. I’m not confident that this problem won’t get worse though, so I already prepared for the possibility that the charging port completely stops working. I went ahead and bought an external battery charger from Anker through their Ebay listings. I was able to get an external battery charger along with two replacement batteries for $25 shipped. This way I can keep two batteries fully charged to swap out in case I can no longer charge the battery while it is in the phone. Anker appears to make good quality products, based on what I had read. Every so often I may post an update as to how the phone is doing. I’m very glad the phone seems to be mostly okay. I’m not eligible for another subsidized phone upgrade until around June 2016. Even getting a replacement used Galaxy S5 looks like it would cost me around $300.

    • Leo says:

      Hey much thanks for the testimonial on the vacuum technique(pretty much a God Send)….on my side I got my phone partially soaked(on the speaker and USB cable part) with soy sauce which I think is even worse than having soaked in water. Anyway my phone finally able to charge after like 15-30 seconds of vacuuming through the USB port and speaker….so yeah it really works!!! Tks Again!!!

    • Fortune says:

      THANK YOU SO MUCH THIS SAVED ME IN MINUTES!! :’))

    • BRANDY GOSEY says:

      THANK YOU SO SO MUCH! THIS WORKS!!! IMMEDIATELY!! LIKE, IN A MINUTE!

  2. Nanocat says:

    Thank you for leading me to this video, I too have a Galaxy S5, the little protective piece over the charging port broke off ages ago, and I dropped it into the sink today when I was washing dishes. It was only in the water for about 3 seconds. I took it out of the case and apart to dry everything immediately (because I have a toddler and this happens to me a lot.) Well, I thought everything was fine until I tried to charge it, and it said that the charger wasn’t compatible with this phone. It’s the charger that came with the phone. I had it in rice but I’m not patient enough for that and it’s never worked for me in the past. So I looked up “Galaxy S5 got wet and won’t charge” and found your post, and now it is charging. Thank you so much.

  3. Anon says:

    I love you. This saved my life.

  4. Bugs27 says:

    I’m so glad I found your post. This is exactly my story! Everything you said happened to me and my phone. I tried the vacuum and it seemed to work, but then the triangle came back. I’m letting it sit in rice right now and will vacuum again in a bit. Hoping it works because I’m not eligible for an upgrade for at least 4 months and don’t have the funds to buy a new phone. Did you find the extra batteries you purchased helped or not over time?

    • Ima Cynic says:

      I haven’t had any major issues with charging my phone since I made the post. I do have one charger that sometimes needs to be adjusted at times to make a connection but that’s the only potential problem related to the charging port. The extra batteries were not to fix the problem but to be a workaround. Basically, if I can’t charge the battery through the USB port, then I would just swap out the batteries and charge them in an external charger. While I no longer need to use the external charger, I find that it is far more convenient on days where I have heavy usage compared to plugging my phone in when the battery is running low or having to use my phone while it is plugged in. I’ve gotten so used to swapping out the battery that I think it will be a step back for me to get one of the newer galaxy models which do not have removable batteries. Let me know if you can get your phone back to working order. Good luck!

  5. Mike says:

    Thanks a mil! My Galaxy S5 droped in a fish pond. It must have been in for about 15 – 20 seconds. I took it out and took out the battery and tried the rice thing overnight without much success. At first I got a no network message and also it wouldn’t charge. So I tried your method after an online search and watching your video. I must have vacuumed for about a minute using the USB charge port. Immediately after doing this I plugged it in and it began charging. Now everything works again. Thanks again

  6. Katie says:

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!! Your advice has saved my galaxy s5 from a cup of tea this morning! ***bows down and kisses feet***

  7. Vicster says:

    You totally saved me! Thanks!
    Same problem, the water protective tab fell off my phone after about 4 months.
    I actually DID drop my phone in the toilet (embarrassing!!!) – luckily a clean toilet 🙂
    Didn’t notice a problem until the next day when I realised the battery was at 48% so I plugged the phone in – no charge!
    Did the vacuum dry for about 3o seconds….so far so good!
    SOOOO relieved! I have so many photos I haven’t uploaded yet and was a bit panicked!

    Great Advice!

  8. MikeInNC says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! Saved my galaxy note 5 got a little beer in the charger port cause my dog knocked it over lol. did it myself for a couple minutes to make sure it got it all out! Saved my asss!

  9. Ozzy says:

    Does this method work with a blow dryer reply asap please

  10. Evan says:

    This actually worked within a minute. I am pleasantly surprised. My waitress spilled some water on my phone, a Nexus 6p, but my phone did not show signs of being affected. However, later that night I realized that my phone would not charge. I luckily stumbled across this thread and within minutes my my phone is charging normally. Thank you so much.

  11. Isabell says:

    Omg! You are a lifesaver! Thank you so much! I’m not eligible for an upgrade for another 6 months!!! I was so worried!

  12. Charlie says:

    Oh thank you thank you thank you!

  13. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! The ocean got my phone wet for about 20 seconds, had no tab to protect the port. My phone was working fine until 2 days after the incident. Then when I saw that yellow triangle pop up I was freaking out I’d have to dish out $$ for a new phone. Your post saved me! I hope I have the same luck to where this lasts me another year before my upgrade!!!! You rock!!!

  14. Tammy says:

    My Gallaxy S5 got a glass of water dropped on it. Like you the little battery port piece fell off and I like you did not replace it. Everything on the phone worked fine except it would not charge . I knew water got in the port because, when I picked it up some came pouring out. I put it in rice but the thought of being without my phone was bugging me so I starting looking to see if there was something else that I could try. I came across your post. I tried it and it worked like a miracle. Thank you so much

  15. Amber says:

    Umm my phone did a slam dunk in the toilet weeks ago (yes embarrassing) but it has been working fine and charging fine up until yesterday!! Why is it suddenly not working? Would it take this long for the water to cause the damage? Is it too late for me to do the vacuum technique? I am purchasing extra batteries and an external charger to try that as well because the phone itself has been working just fine…ugh so frustrating!

    • Ima Cynic says:

      Your situation sounds bad. I’m wondering if rust developed over time as things dried out, or something like that. Obviously it doesn’t hurt to try drying it further now, but I’m not optimistic it’ll help. Let us know if it returns to working. Also, I have been very happy with the extra batteries and external charger. I love not having to use my phone plugged in anymore. I just run my battery down and swap it out. Even though my phone is back to charging completely normal (still).

  16. Stephanie says:

    Hi I was reading your post and almost the same thing happened to me. I was charging my phone and it felt on my milk ( so embarrassed), this morning I went all the phone shop and said will have to pay a big amount to have it repaired at the meantime I bought an external battery which is quite weird for me because I am used to plugging and I do not have a vaccum at home. Isnt there another method? or something else I can use?

  17. Mikki says:

    Thank you so much! This was a lifesaver! I splashed water on myself at work while my phone was in my pocket. My phone barely got wet, but there was water in the charging port. The phone hadn’t gotten water anywhere vital and it worked fine otherwise but it wouldn’t charge. Then I found this advice and it worked like a charm. Thank you so much!

  18. Katie says:

    Thank you so much for this! My phone was working but wouldn’t charge. I did this several hours after the water incident. It did not work first time and caused a yellow triangle to show when i plugged the charger in. But after another 30seconds of vaccum it worked and my phone is now charging. fingers crossed everything else is good with the phone. Thanks again!

  19. Fred says:

    Brief exposure to small amount of water and charger port would not recognize Samsung power cord source. 60 seconds of vacuuming with a tight seal … and it works! Many thanks.

  20. Panda says:

    You have just saved me so much money! You’re the best.

  21. Katie says:

    My phone dropped in the toilet just a few days ago & I did the rice thing but I only left it in for bout 3 hours & took it out everything worked fine & then once I tried charging it . It didn’t charge . But I was wondering if I do like you said will it work

    • Ima Cynic says:

      It may be too late, but it won’t hurt to try. Let us know if it works for you. If there is still moisture inside, it should help.

  22. Daniel says:

    You just saves me a night of worrying, thank you so much.

  23. Lindsey says:

    Just dropped my S5 in the tub for the 2nd time (my husband’s gonna kill me!) and thanks to your video, I think my phone may be alright! The battery was low when I dropped it, and it’s charging, but still only says 7%. I’m leaving it alone in the hopes that everything is well! Thanks for the info and video! I may have to vacuum again, but it seems to be helping!

  24. Heckzotica says:

    So I just dropped my phone in pretty thick glue. The good thing is that it’s thick it didn’t get to deep into the phone. But it was still the consistency of gel so it filled the usb port along with the headphone jack and I think the speaker holes. Battery was dry when I disassembled. So I’m having the same charging problem. I just tried to be thorough with the the alcohol. And I have been using my dust buster every 15 mins tho I don’t know if it’s powerful enough to help. But thank you for your post, it was very helpful and hopefully I will have some good results.

    • Ima Cynic says:

      You’ll have to update me on whether you have any issues. Glue sounds horrible, but as you said, it probably didn’t get in as deep. Hopefully whatever doesn’t come out will dry and then come out when you try to put things in the various ports.

  25. sam says:

    You know, thanks!!
    For those of you out there who think that this is stupid, a scam, doesn’t work, or whatever, think. What do you even have to lose?!?!?!?! Just try it. My S5 was running fine for almost 2 years now. (its 2017), and it has had this issue three times. Once was when it went in the lake for a swim, and once when I splashed it accidentally. Both times I fixed it by hanging it to dry on the wall for about 4 days. It worked, but I needed the phone for communications and work.
    So, today the phone fell into my bath while I was playing music on it. I do have a Lifeproof, however, since I had connected a pair of speakers, I had removed the life proof because the life proof has a lot of extra room between the outside world and the headphone jack.
    Sigh. Thank you for the help!
    P.S., I got Bluetooth speakers now. No need for any more water damage!!

  26. Tee says:

    I tried several times with no response. Any other suggestions?

  27. Tereasa says:

    Thank you heaps… my son dropped the bottom of his phone In the sink with a small amount of water but it still wouldn’t charge… with only 1% battery life left we found your solution… fishing the phone or of a container full of rice we tried your vacuum method…1st attempt battery charge icon cane on but soon disappeared… second attempt… nothing… third attempt we left it a little longer and voila it’s charging… awesome?

  28. Thankfull guy says:

    Thank you so muuuch, i dropped my father’s phone into a sink with little water, it sarted going crazy showing me a power sharing message and the sound of being plugged started going randomly. First thing i did was to dry it with a hair drier, unfortunatly it didn’t work. It wouldn’t charge so i started panicking until i found this post. I didn’t thaught it wwould work and on top of that i don’t have a vas so instead i used my mouth ( i was desperate) i put my lips against the charging port and i started sucking air for almost a minute. then before botingit up i took out the battery kept holding the power button for a minute to do a soft reset and voila it started charging.

  29. Julie says:

    Bless you! This worked and my phone is saved.

  30. Caleb says:

    sadly did nothing for me

  31. Joe says:

    This worked like a charm. I dropped my phone in a water bucket 12 hours ago with a case on. I saw water got in, ripped off the case, and thought since everything was still working, I was alright. Then I went to charge it, panic. This cleared my issue instantly.

  32. Sonia says:

    OMG it worked. Thank you so much. I did put my phone in rice but still wouldn’t charge.
    I saw your post, took the battery out, put the battery back in, pushed the volume up + power + home buttons at the same time. Waited for a vibration. Then the phone came on but it was stuck there. Turned the phone off and then it started charge again. YEAH thank you so so much

  33. Maria says:

    Yep, the vacuum trick worked for me too! I’d even tried blow drying the charging port and it didn’t work. I sticky taped across the vacuum hose, leaving only a small hole the size of the charging port. Then I sticky taped the phone to the hose so that the seal was 100%. Worked a charm, charging capacity is back to 100% Thanks for sharing the tip!

  34. Shae Booth says:

    Omg I don’t normally comment on these things but my phone is my life. Currently waiting on my call back for a really good job and I’m a full time student and do all of my work on my phone since I don’t have wifi atm. My stupid sister got drunk last night and dropped my phone in the toilet…and being that I cannot afford to replace my phone right now and I’ve only had it for a year and my limited warranty just expired 2 weeks ago I was freaking out. I didn’t have any rice so I let it sit in a bowl of Oatmeal overnight and it didn’t fix it. So I tried about 2 minutes worth of vacuuming it out and omg it is charging again. I am so freaking happy right now. I cannot believe it worked but thank you so much for sharing. You saved my life!!!

Leave a Reply